From corporate to start up with Mary Shannon

February 20, 2020

Mary Shannon is the founder of Connectus Worldwide, a professional business consulting firm specializing in the delivery of services to Small, Minority, Woman-owned, Veteran, and LGBTQ Business Enterprises, as well as majority organizations seeking to connect and do business with diverse businesses. She is passionate about her work and possesses decades of experience and knowledge that blends corporate strategy and business solutions with entrepreneurial spirit and personalized service.

The services she provides include pre-application for certification, coaching and development, and access to corporate and government contacts for diverse businesses to succeed and accomplish their goals and objectives. Connectus Worldwide offers Supplier Diversity Program development, and Public Participation & Engagement Consulting for corporate and public organizations wanting to become more intertwined in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Prior to starting Connectus Worldwide, Mary managed a supplier diversity program for a Multi-Billion Dollar company for several years. She developed a proactive program for supplier identification, supplier growth and development, strategic planning, and program measurement, which resulted in increased and effective utilization of diverse suppliers throughout the corporation. In her role, Mary collaborated with internal executives, business partners, and stakeholders, as well as external colleagues across the country for the betterment of her program.

Mary served two consecutive terms as co-chair of the National Minority Supplier Development Council’s (NMSDC) “The Working Group.” The group is comprised of 25 product and consumer companies such as: ADM, Cargill, Colgate-Palmolive, Disney, Johnson & Johnson, MillerCoors, Medtronic, Monsanto, Pfizer, and P&G.

Mary is on the Leadership Council for the National Small Business Association in Washington D.C. She is a graduate of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Globe Program (Global Leadership Opportunities for Business Executives). She is a Black Achiever in Business and Industry, Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater KC and the Black Achievers Society. She is honored to have a published piece on Supplier Diversity and Certification, in the 2018/2019 Thinking Bigger Business Media Entrepreneurs Guide.

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